Knowledge is power when it comes time to cast your vote

April 30, 2011|Bill Kohler

Greg Ochoa.

Amy Churchman.

Marilyn Smith.

Pat Heefner.

Ashley Newcomer.

Rita Daywalt.

Emilee Eckels Bakner.

Pat Heraty.

Sam Miller.

Larry Eberly.

John Alleman.

Gary Gontz.

Bob Ziobrowski.

Steven C. Rock.

Mark A. Bumbaugh.

Glenn Manns.

Richard Swartz.

Andrea Malmont.

David Phillip Miracle.

Do you know any of these folks?

Not really, you say?

If you live in Franklin County, Pa., and aren't familiar with at least some of these 19 names, you should be.

These are people who mean a lot more to you than you might think.

These are people running for various political offices in Franklin County's May 17 primary.

They are among 60 or so who are in contested races on that Tuesday.

Every two years or so, I extol the virtues not just of voting in local elections, but of knowledge of local issues and the facts.

I like to lecture to new Tri-State reporters here that knowledge is power. You gather as many facts as you can and make the best and smartest decision.

That's power.

Now here's where you come in.

For the next 14 days, The Herald-Mail will dedicate lots of space in our newspaper and on our website ( to giving you knowledge.

We will be running election previews pretty much every day, and if you miss one, they will be collected on our website by midweek. Just look for the Pa. primary tab near the top of our home page.

And if you think I've forgotten about our readers in the Eastern Panhandle, I have not. We also will run stories from The Associated Press on the May 14 special gubernatorial primary in West Virginia.

We want to share our news with you, but here's the key: Get it and use it wisely.

Knowledge does no good when it's poured down the drain on Election Day.

Why should you care?

Do you read the paper and watch the news? Taxes are going up, home values are going down and good jobs are hard to find. School boards in Franklin and Fulton counties are cutting jobs and programs and classes. They are freezing wages and not filling positions. Education is one of our strong points in this country, and the public side of it is taking a beating.

These people running for school boards, borough councils and township supervisor boards will have more direct impact on you than a state lawmaker or a U.S. senator. These are our most vital representatives.

We need to keep an eye on what our officials are doing, and we will continue to do that here. What you need to do is look, listen and soak in the knowledge that is found here and at other reliable sources.

And then get out there and cast an educated vote on May 14 in West Virginia or May 17 in Pennsylvania.

And that's what I call power.

Bill Kohler is Tri-State editor of The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-791-7281 or by email at

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